How might a social media manager be defined?
A creative character who makes the invisible visible.
Want your business to thrive? Do you aim that in a short time, a few months, a year, two, that the product or service you offer reaches as many people as possible?
Do you want to speak for your own brand? Or represent the ones you like?
Be or choose the best social media manager!
The visibility of a brand you represent online is ensured by a social media manager. This is in charge of promotion on social media platforms.
This is the person responsible for creating the marketing strategy and campaign. It is the one who drives the consumer, in certain ways, to interact with brands on social media, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
To get the desired results, a social media manager needs to know how to communicate through storytelling, have a clear idea of what the visual impact of an image or video means and the ability to analyse what is relevant to the target audience.
Social media has become a key element of marketing because of its advantage in identifying and learning more about consumer needs, wants and frustrations.
1. What is social media manager?
A social media manager can be perceived as a shortcut to business success. The road to increased conversion rates, lead generation.
Studies show that 92% of people, use social media platforms. Including entrepreneurs, companies, etc. who need online promotion, who want to become visible to their target audience.
A social media manager is the voice of the brand on social media channels. It speaks about it, reveals its vision, goals and desires.
It’s that person who responds to comments, creates strategies and promotional campaigns, and relevant content for a specific audience.
Promotion on social media platforms is the most effective way to promote a product, service, brand.
2. Qualities of a social media specialist
Increasing consumer preferences to use social media channels for the purpose of communicating with preferred brands is challenging entrepreneurs, companies, etc, to pay special attention to those who are highly equipped to manage the relationship with their target audience.
“Hiring the best is your most important task” – Steve Jobs
Social media is marketing, PR, sales and customer service all rolled into one, often in one. Each social media specialist needs to be endowed with certain specific characteristics and unique skills that will help them develop and maintain their brand’s reputation.
It’s not enough that a social media specialist to possess knowledge of only social media.
For the business to have a good chance of becoming visible to its target audience, a social media specialist must have several qualities without which it is difficult to think about, create, implement and monitor campaigns for that brand.
So the qualities of a social media specialist are:
- Imperative curiosity about everything that surrounds it, about the brand it represents, about the target group it addresses, about its needs, desires and frustrations.
- Likes to read. Reading, regardless of the book, develops thinking, imagination and creativity. It enriches vocabulary, which is extremely important in creating quality content. It helps you make associations, connections between your overall culture, brand goals and the message you’re posting. Standing out from the crowd requires a high level of culture and intelligence.
- Passion. Among the most important qualities of a social media specialist. Dedication and commitment to increasing brand visibility comes from a passion for what you do.
- Writing in conversational language. Social media posts should not be mistaken for an advertisement, but should engage the interaction of those viewing the posts.
- Immediate reaction to comments from people interacting with the brand page.
- Creativity, originality and attention to detail. Try to stand out from the crowd. The smallest detail can turn into a success or a failure. But be careful! Failure of a message can mean business failure!
- Matching messages to campaign and brand objectives. What you post should accurately reflect the vision and goals of the brand.
- Respect privacy.
- Emotional maturity. What other people write is not about you. Don’t take anything personally.
- Empathy and patience. A social media specialist will show the consumer that they care about their needs. You have to put yourself in their shoes, understand them, which will turn into great customer care.
- Ability to recognize leads. As social media is the place where people share their opinions and experiences, a lot of questions, needs, problems can emerge from there that you as a social media specialist will recognize as opportunities to bring the customer closer.
- Sense of humour. But not amateur. You need to know when and how a sense of humour saves unpleasant situations by turning them into opportunities.
- The ability to resolve, not escalate conflicts. We have become increasingly agitated, anxious to have our problems solved, and if it doesn’t happen quickly, everything degenerates into conflict. So try to resolve any issues that arise and the user’s experience with your brand will be a great one, which will motivate them to come back.
- Storytelling skills. Who doesn’t like stories? Story creates emotion, and emotion turns into lead.
- Effective time management and by-the-book planning. Organization should be another strength of a social media specialist.
- The visual impact of a campaign. Any message accompanied by an image or video, must have a significant visual impact. And, necessarily, there must be a clear and strong link between the two. Remember! A picture is worth 1000 words.
- A talent for understanding statistics. Analyzing and understanding statistics, measuring results is a benchmark for improving a campaign or for future ones, and then, it must be translated in the best possible way.
- Team spirit. A social media specialist often also works with other colleagues, copywriters, content writers, facebook ads specialists etc.
- Willingness to learn new marketing tools, implementation and measurement.
3. Responsibilities of a social media manager
Social media manager. A character who turns the invisible into the visible. That’s how such a specialist would translate. But how does he do it? What are his responsibilities that will help him achieve his goal effectively?
We’ll draw them into 4 categories, each with its own points:
3.1. Creating a Social Media Strategy
Creating a social media strategy is the key to successful results. Focus on the most appropriate social networks. Create your target group profile and identify the steps that lead to achieving your goals.
- Create a social media strategy. Define the purpose of your brand’s social media presence and how you intend to get there.
- Set budgets for social media activities. A strategy involves providing resources to achieve the desired results. What trade-offs do you have to make?What indicators will you have to measure?
- Planning social media campaigns, the execution phase, scheduling daily activities.
3.2. Social media implementation
At this stage you need to measure and analyse the results achieved. How visible the brand has become, how many leads it has generated, etc. There are a lot of indicators you can set depending on the objectives of the campaign.
- Manage social media campaigns and day-to-day activities. Record results and keep communication channels open to deal with any issues that arise in the dynamic environment of social media platforms.
- Manages social media presence. Posts new content, updates old content, responds to comments, distributes material posted by fans, customers and popular influencers.
- Brand advocacy. Create links with blogs, forums and influencers. Create a network of brand ambassadors.
- Engage in conversations and answer questions.
3.3. Creating content for social media
A very important element that needs to create excitement, interest and action for the brand. An element that must convert.
- Post relevant, quality content where you think it’s likely to be shared, not just on your social profile.
- If there’s a blog, post it. Write every day. Write something you can use as content. Progressively increase the number of posts.
- Create and upload videos to youtube, facebook and instagram. Find the best content you’ve written and turn it into a video version.
- Create and maintain an editorial calendar for social media and post scheduling.
3.4 Social media monitoring
Monitoring will help you develop better campaigns, write more effective strategies than those you have created before.
What does monitoring involve?
Measuring the effectiveness of actions taken by a social media manager to discover which are most profitable for the brand and evaluating the result of the investment (ROI) which can be done with previously established KPIs and metrics.
- After creating and executing your social media strategy, you need to measure the results, according to your own metrics. How well known the brand has become, what leads it has generated, etc.
- Analyze and evaluate social media campaigns and strategies.
- Write a daily/weekly/monthly report on the effectiveness of campaigns, which will summarise what is happening with the campaign.
- Social media trend monitoring.
- Monitoring top competitors in social media.
- Monitoring social space, relevant topics and conversations.
- Understanding the impact of social media on traffic.
4. Salary as social media manager
It’s natural to wonder what a social media manager’s salary is. But we should also consider the following. He can choose between being employed on individual contract in a corporation, company, organization etc or becoming a freelancer, in which case the issue will be treated differently.
Salary of a social media manager
The salary of a marketing, advertising, PR person employed in Romania ranges from 2750 lei to 8000 lei. This income is obtained depending on your specialization and ability to impose yourself. Significant results will help you negotiate the salary. It is also obvious why.
As a freelancer, you can choose one-off, short-term or long-term projects. In both cases, you’ll be paid based on your experience, past results, the results you achieve during the course of the contract, the popularity of the brand, your ability to negotiate, etc.
5. Training to become a social media manager
The word ‘training’ can be perceived as having a degree or certificate to practice or work in a particular position you want to occupy.
Yes, it is true that in some situations there are such requirements, such as a bachelor’s degree in marketing or business. Or, those who hire you or for whom you will work as a representative of their brands may require certificates in social media management, digital marketing, content marketing, etc. But there are few such cases.
The important thing is that your results should show that you’re the person brands need. That they can achieve their business goals with your help.
So far we’ve discussed training in the form of years of study in the field.
But what are the specific skills a social media manager needs to have?
- Social media marketing and/or PR.
- Developing social media and marketing strategies.
- Lead generation, sales, social media, building and maintaining a community.
- Knowledge of social media channels, how to leverage the power of social media to build brand awareness.
- Use analytics tools and ability to adapt marketing strategy based on analytics results, metrics.
- Generate ideas, engaging content that goes viral.
- Managing content on the site.
- Writing engaging messages and headlines that promote the brand.
- Ability to learn at any time, to adapt, to stay current with new measurement and analysis tools.
- Very good SEO skills.
- Social Media Expertise. What type of content works on each platform, what times of the day or week people are online, how to optimize content.
- Customer service. 50% of customers prefer brands that care about them, listen to their needs and solve their problems when they arise.
- Visual intelligence. As important as the ability to write. You need to know how to create or choose those clips or images that have a good chance of going viral. You can try to turn your written message into video.
Organizational skills of a social media manager
You are likely to work with other brand promotion specialists and then it is important to be able to communicate effectively with them.
- Effective communication skills.
- Ability to work under pressure of tight deadlines.
- Ability to prioritize and work on multiple projects.
- Ability to work independently and flexibly.
6. How do you know if you’re right for the position of social media manager?
In Romania, a social media manager is often mocked by those who have no idea what the position entails. The questions of those you come into contact with and discuss what you do are usually “are you the one or the one who posts all day on Facebook?” are hard to accept.
Or, another common situation. The people who hire you expect you to create a post in a few minutes that goes viral and attracts tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of views, shares. There’s no such thing, not in a short time.
Social media is about interacting with people, it’s about building a community organically through quality, relevant content.
The position of social media manager is not for those who lack patience, who can’t have a vision for a brand, who lack the ability to understand.
You have to be completely dedicated to whatever brand you are promoting. You have to have passion on your face, you have to be able to communicate effectively, you have to be able to adapt to anything and anyone. If these qualities are not there, the position of social media manager may not be right for you.
Analyze! Analyze! Analyze! And then decide!
7. Freelancer vs employee in a company
A social media manager will be in charge of a business’s online presence and development.
Take the case of an employed social media manager. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of such a position with an individual employment contract?
- Payment of contributions to the state is the employer’s responsibility.
- Socializing, interacting with a large group of people.
- Benefits, bonuses included in salary package.
- Free training, specific, themed camps, team builds.
- You only work for one company.
- Work schedules must be kept to the letter.
- You work for whom you are asked.
Now, let’s look at the case of a freelance social media manager.
- Program flexibility.
- Possibility of much higher earnings, depending on experience, skills, number of hours, brand reputation.
- Possibility to work for multiple projects.
- Spend more time with your family.
- The existence of a legal form, although this should not be a disadvantage except in view of the high fees in some cases.
- You’ll have to make your own contributions to the state.
- The risk of inefficient organization and planning.
- Risk of missed deadlines.
- Uncertainty of a monthly income.
Advantages and disadvantages exist in both situations, employee or freelancer. The important thing is to identify your needs, your desires, to analyse very well your skills and your ability to manage the whole business yourself.
If you are organised, want to earn more money, are good at something, sociable, communicative and can maintain valuable relationships with people, freelancing suits you.
On the other hand, if you like going to the office and the thought of running a business kills you, stick with the job you’ve got, or learn to manage as well.
The best option is to start in parallel, because that way you’ll know how you fit in, what you can do, how quickly, etc.
8. What you need to master if you want to succeed as a social media manager
So far, we’ve seen what the qualities of a good social media manager are, what their responsibilities are. But what do they need to know, what knowledge do they need to have in order to be successful for any brand they work for?
- Marketing knowledge. How to create an advertising strategy and promote a product, digital marketing, solid research knowledge, how to create an effective consumer journey, how to create a marketing plan.
- Content writing and copywriting. How to promote a campaign with content. How you get people to open your emails. Applying copywriting formulas. How to write headlines that convert.
- Social media marketing. How to promote on Facebook. Facebook Ads Manager, the most popular promotion tool. All about social networks. Creating your first Facebook ad. Installing Facebook Pixel. Promotion strategies.
- SEO knowledge. How to optimize your website on google. How to optimize content. How you grow and measure traffic on a site. How to attract organic traffic.
- Email marketing knowledge. How to increase email open rates. Email marketing basics.
9. Challenges of a social media manager
Social media marketing has transformed for modern brands from ‘wish we had a social media manager’ to ‘must have’.
The power of social media platforms can easily be deduced from 3 things that are happening online.
- Every day, 45% of the entire global population spends more than 2 hours on social media.
- Over 70% of marketers find social media highly effective for promotion.
- Social media ads drive users, over 80%, to decide on purchasing a product or service.
Being a good social media manager is somewhat difficult, due to the evolution of technology and extremely changing trends in social media. And that can be quite challenging.
What are the 5 biggest challenges a social media manager faces? What are the solutions to these challenges?
Social media can be a mystery if you’re not familiar with how it works. Understanding the challenges will help you quickly find solutions to counter them.
Challenge #1. Defining marketing objectives.
Surprising how a social media manager struggles to set marketing campaign goals that align with business objectives. For more than 45% this is their biggest challenge.
So if goals are not well defined, it will be hard to measure performance, which will affect the budget of future campaigns.
What is the solution to this challenge?
- Start with an overview of the objectives. Discover the brand’s true mission, why it’s on social media. This will make it easier for you to identify your business goals. Plan your social media promotion goals.
- Set SMART goals for each campaign. These goals help you stay on budget.
- Specific. Defines the platform and type of interaction.
- Measurable. You can use analytics on each social network to measure engagement rate and reach.
- Achievable. Make sure the goal can be achieved through both organic and paid campaigns.
- Realist. Set a goal that you can achieve within a certain period of time, based on past experiences.
- Time frame. You have to define the period very well to be able to calculate precise values.
The more SMART the goals, the more effective the campaigns will be.
Challenge #2. Identify the most appropriate platform.
Too few conduct proper research to identify the platform their target audience is on. Investing in the wrong platform can add quite a bit to your budget, especially if you frequently use paid ads. This should be given the utmost importance.
What is the solution to this challenge?
For example, if you want to create a consumer connection, Twitter is the best platform. On the other hand, Instagram is appropriate if you’re aiming to motivate influencers to share your brand to get it noticed.
Take the time to know your target audience well. What platform are they active on? What are their main social media activities? Study the demographic profile. Find out about their gender, age, where they access social media from. Then meet them on those platforms. There are many depending on the nature of your business.
B2C brands need to be active on visual platforms like Facebook and Instagram to get consumers’ attention. B2B brands should post frequently on LinkedIn to identify connections with brands relevant to them. It’s also important to follow competitors.
- “Out of sight, out of mind” is very real for social media users. If you don’t have a strong presence on the social channels your competitors are active on, you’ll miss out on the opportunity for many beneficial conversations. Discover the channels where your competitors are present. Then think about how you will make your presence there.
Challenge 3. Understanding your target audience.
Many brands own great in-store businesses, but on the social media plan they fail. The difference is that in physical stores, customers are the ones looking for a particular brand, while on social media, brands have to search for customers. And, some of them have no idea how to do that.
It often happens that a social media specialist, creates content and only then sees who the target audience is. Believe that great content leads to conversion, even if it’s not targeted. Wrong approach! Let’s say good content might generate engagement, but it’s very likely not to generate leads if it’s not tailored to the needs of the target audience.
Directionless marketing relies on a ‘spray and pray’ approach that doesn’t really bring in sales. Moreover, it can damage brand credibility. You risk being blocked or reported if you bombard people with irrelevant content.
A study on why people unfollow brands on social media goes like this:
- Customer carelessness, 56%.
- Irrelevant content, 51%.
- Too many brand ads, 43%.
- Talk about politics or social issues, 34%.
- Ignore posts or mentions from people, 29%.
- Use influencers to sell products, 14%.
What is the solution to this challenge?
Do you know who your ideal consumer is? Have you created your buyer persona profile? Explore your existing database, ad analytics and email subscriber list. Now, create an avatar of your ideal customer from the data you’ve collected.
Check the information in depth. How many children does your ideal client have? How do they spend their weekends? What music do they listen to? Collect all the information relevant to your business or the business you represent. You can analyse conversations with customers about your brand, product and niche. You need to understand what they like and don’t like in order to shape campaign goals and content.
This will help you understand the ‘why’ behind a consumer’s actions. Why do they follow a particular platform? Why do they use the ‘unfollow’ button for your brand? Why is the volume of mentions about your brand low? Use these findings to connect with the consumer and create engaging content.
Challenge #4. Declining organic reach and engagement rates.
As organic coverage drops, the cost of paid advertising rises. Brands are struggling to balance targets and budgets.
What’s the solution to this challenge?
Make platforms work for you. Know the algorithms very well. If Instagram is your main platform, use Instagram Stories. They have high engagement rates and allow you to tell your brand story in an effective way. Going live is an easy way to maximize your organic reach. You can collaborate with influencers to host interviews, podcasts and Q&A sessions.
Optimize social content for the right posting times. Video marketing is crucial these days. Use videos to present knowledge and fix customer problems. Somehow get followers to share content that you can reuse on your social media accounts. Social proof will enhance brand credibility.
Challenge #5. Increase the cost of advertising.
Famous brands may prefer to buy engagement through paid ads on social media. But even that becomes a challenge. Advertising costs are rising, and competition is getting tougher. It’s getting harder and harder to recoup your investment and make a profit from paid ads.
One reason behind this trend is the huge popularity of paid ads, especially Facebook ads. In Q3 2019, there were 7 million active advertisers on Facebook.
What’s the solution to this challenge?
On Facebook, there are many placement options available, such as mobile or desktop newsfeed, right panel ads, messenger ads, and Facebook Audience Network. Opt for mobile placement because Facebook has a large user base among mobile users.
If you want to learn more about the different ad formats and placement destinations, check out Facebook’s quarterly revenue reports. You’ll get a good idea of the unique ad views each format gets in a day.
Ready to face these challenges? Each type of marketing comes with its own set of challenges. Social media marketing is no exception. Use the types and strategies mentioned above to create visibility and credibility for the brand you represent.
10. What they don’t tell you when you want to become a social media manager
Getting paid to post on popular social media, for many, is a dream come true. Statistics tell us that a social media manager’s satisfaction rating is 3.8 out of 5 points, which is pretty good. CNNMoney/PayScale’s list of the top 100 high-growth, high-paying and rewarding careers includes the position of social media manager, which ranks 42nd in the world.
But what does the work of such a position actually look like?
What is advantage and what is disadvantage?
Advantage #1. You get paid for spending time on social media, nearly 8 hours/day, keeping an eye on influencers, discovering what content goes viral, adding voice and creativity to the posts you make.
The downside of this advantage. Studies prove that overuse of social media is associated with social isolation, lowered self-image, anxiety, and even depression.
Solution. Effective organization and planning.
Advantage #2. Your work has the potential to go viral or make a positive impact. It’s exciting that your post can go viral. The thought that you can be appreciated and included in the list of ‘best social media posts’ is magnificent.
Let’s see what Noodle’s Mary Kearl has to say about something amazing that happened to her!
‘I’ve written posts for influential social media accounts, liked my company’s posts on social media or involving celebrities, and posted videos that have been shared thousands of times. In one of the most unexpected moments of my career, I reunited an athlete with the wedding ring he lost during the New York City Marathon.’
His request for help in finding the ring was shared over a thousand times. As a result, the marathoner got his ring back and was able to meet the volunteer who found it. The story ended up getting media coverage in Runners World and ABC News.
The downside of this advantage: Mistakes can go viral, too. A careless or insensitive post can become one of the “biggest mistakes on social media”.
Solution. Don’t skip the basics, such as proofreading and re-reading the post before it’s published.
Advantage #4. You’ll get quick feedback on what you’re doing. Studies show that receiving feedback increases performance. Your satisfaction when the engagement rate with your posts increases is huge.
The downside of this advantage. You have to constantly evolve to keep your performance high. When changes occur, you have to revise your content strategy, which will initially lead to lower engagement rates.
So, are you choosing to make a career out of being a social media manager? Is it right for you? Only you will know if the potential advantages outweigh the potential disadvantages. If you want a creative role where quick thinking is in demand and highly valued, and which you can handle, then this career may be worth exploring further.
There’s no clear path to becoming a social media manager, but employers often give preference to those with degrees in journalism, communications, marketing, media studies, public relations, advertising or a similar field.
Think! Analyze everything! Make the best decision for you!